Saturday, April 29, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 28, 2017:

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 28, 2017
* NYNY1704.28

- Birds mentioned
PACIFIC LOON+
WHITE IBIS+
RUFF+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Wild Turkey
Cattle Egret
SANDHILL CRANE
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
RED PHALAROPE
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Veery
Wood Thrush
American Pipit
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Black-throated Green Warbler
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW
SUMMER TANAGER
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
BLUE GROSBEAK
Indigo Bunting
Bobolink
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

- Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays, during the day)
Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, April 28th 2017 at 9pm. The highlights of today's tape are PACIFIC LOON, WHITE IBIS, RUFF, RED PHALAROPE, RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, SANDHILL CRANE, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW plus Spring migrants.

An interesting mix of rarities this week included reports of 2 species of phalaropes. A RED briefly Wednesday off the northeastern edge of Randall's Island and 2 RED-NECKEDS Wednesday morning in the Old Inlet on Fire Island west of Smith Point County Park. There were no subsequent sightings of either and very interesting was a report of a WHITE IBIS flying northeast with Glossy Ibis over Valley Stream State Park this evening.

A black RUFF reappeared again Tuesday midday in the marsh north of the parking lot at Timber Point East Marina. This week's only sighting despite much searching. However on Thursday birders did spot a PACIFIC LOON just off shore. The loon ultimately swimming off behind a vent in the marsh.

The south fork SANDHILL CRANE was still at Wainscott Pond yesterday.

Of the two regional CATTLE EGRETS the lower Manhattan one was still on the north side of 28th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues today while the Bridgehampton bird was last reported Saturday around Mecox Road and Halsey Lane.

A southern big four among the passerines were all noted this week. PROTHONOTARY WARBLER was at least to yesterday still lingering at the Lido Beach Passive Nature Area off Lido Boulevard just west of Point Lookout. A today YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was present today at the Point in Central Park. A BLUE GROSBEAK was in Prospect Park today and a SUMMER TANAGER briefly visited a small park along East 51st Street Thursday followed by a male at Jones Beach West End today. A lingering ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was still on Central Park Thursday and as noted in much of the NYC area the overnight southerly flow coupled with fog in the morning produced a nice migratory push into the region with decent numbers of warblers and other seasonal migrants dropping into local parks. Early arriving warblers for the week included WORM-EATING, MAGNOLIA, CHESTNUT-SIDED, BLACKBURNIAN, BLACK-THROATED BLUE, AMERICAN REDSTART and even BLACKPOLL along with more of NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, OVENBIRD, BLUE-WINGED, NASHVILLE, NORTHERN PARULA, BLACK-THROATED GREEN, YELLOW and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.

A large variety of other landbirds has included a couple of YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, EASTERN KINGBIRD, WOOD THRUSH and VEERY, RED-EYED, YELLOW-THROATED and WARBLING VIREOS, SCARLET TANAGER, ORCHARD and BALTIMORE ORIOLES, INDIGO BUNTING, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and BOBOLINK. A highlight was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW found at Central Park's north end today.

A couple of AMERICAN PIPITS were at Randall's Island Thursday. RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS include one still in Central Park west of East 68th Street and 2 at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx last weekend. Among the other interesting Central Park visitors this week were WILD TURKEY and BARRED OWL. Both SOLITARY and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS are appearing in increasing numbers.

A CASPIAN TERN has been visiting Prospect Park Lake from Monday through today. Another stayed around Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens Wednesday and Thursday and others have appeared recently. A ROYAL TERN was reported from Lido Beach Passive Nature Area Monday.

Five LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS and an ICELAND GULL were spotted at Heckscher State Park Tuesday and other ICELANDS include one lingering around the Brooklyn piers and one on Staten Island Sunday. A GLAUCOUS GULL was spotted in Bridgehampton Saturday.

Please note this new number for phoning in reports. Call Tom Burke at (914) 967-4922 and leave a message.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday's Foto

This close relative of the Snowy Egret, the Little Blue Heron is a medium-sized heron with a purple-blue head and neck and slate-gray body. Immatures are white and looks very much like the Snowy. Read David Sibley’s piece on distinguishing immature Little Blue Herons from Snowy Egrets here.

Favoring freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, marshes, swamps, and lagoons, they can also be observed along marine coastlines. The Little Blue Heron can be found throughout much of the Americas, ranging from southern California and the south-eastern US south to Peru and Central Brazil. In New York City small numbers nest on Hoffman Island in Lower New York Bay and Elders Point East in Jamaica Bay.

Their conservation status via IUCN is Least Concern, although their populations has been slowly declining. In addition, it is listed on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List, which includes bird species that are most at risk of extinction without significant conservation actions to reverse declines and reduce threats.

The Little Blue Heron’s scientific name, Egretta caerulea, means small egret; azure-blue.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Green-Wood Cemetery Weekend Report

We had some brief intervals of south winds on Saturday night promising a bit more northbound migrants for my Sunday dawn cemetery walk. While I wouldn't say the trees were "dripping" with birds, there was a fair increase in the species seen through the morning. In addition, I went back to the "hawkwatch hill" at the northwest corner of the cemetery with a few friends later in the day. There wasn't a huge push of raptors, but we did spot a few nice highlights to report.

The blooms on the cherry trees that ring the Valley Water have exploded. The puffy, pink blossoms have attracted lots of insects which, in turn, acted like a magnet for a proliferating population of Yellow-rumped Warblers. There were so many present that I could hear their weak warbling trills and "pip" calls as we passed the chapel, several yards from the pond.

While I was trying to get everyone on the warblers that were darting in and out of the cherry trees, I heard a familiar song and call from directly above us. The squeaky, "rusty gate" song was from a Rusty Blackbird. I explained to the group that this species of blackbird is in serious decline with nearly 85-95% of their numbers disappearing since the mid-1900’s. Click here to learn more information about this issue.

On the stretch from the Valley Water to the Sylvan Water we saw lots of Chipping Sparrow, a couple of Eastern Towhees, a Blue-headed Vireo and lots and lots of robins. I always wonder, at this time of year, how many breeding pairs of robins the cemetery could support as they seem to be just about everywhere. The grassy border at Sylvan was fairly quiet, however we did hear a Northern Waterthrush singing from somewhere near the east edge of the pond.

The first of our annual Green Herons has arrived. He appears to be staking a claim in the elm tree at the edge of Dell Water, where they successfully raised a family last year. If you hang out at this spot early in the morning you should be able to hear him making his raspy "skeow" call. Keep an eye out for nest building activity here or at the Crescent Water once the females arrive.

We had a couple of more warbler highlights on Sunday. They were technically after the tour had ended, but it was such a lovely morning that I invited anyone who wanted to stick around to join me for more birding. Around half the people opted to keep on going and, luckily, we spotted some more birds. The first was near the entrance to the "catacombs". A Northern Parula perched at the top of a cherry tree was singing a buzzy chromatic scale. It was right about that time that I received word of a Blue-winged Warbler at the Crescent Water, so we turned around and hoofed it back. Once there, it wasn't easy finding this brilliant yellow bird. Despite his near constant singing, he was mostly hidden from view by the thick cover of blooms in the pair of crabapple trees that he favored. Eventually everyone got to see him.

After a short break for lunch I joined some friends for an impromptu hawkwatch at the highest point in the cemetery, just north of the Civil War Monument. The winds hadn't really been favorable for raptors heading north, but they shifted to the south in the early afternoon. In the short time that we were scanning the horizon we tallied Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk and American Kestrel (red-tails and kestrel were probably locals). The highlight was an adult Bald Eagle flying low over the "Hill of Graves" towards Prospect Park. I quickly tweeted out an alert and, within a couple of minutes, received a response from someone at the edge of Prospect Lake that they saw it. Two other non-raptor sightings from the hawkwatch hill were several flocks of migrating Double-crested Cormorants and my first Chimney Swift of the season.

This coming Sunday's tour is already sold out, but I recommend just getting outside and birding anywhere you can as it promises to be a good weekend for northbound birds.

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Location: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Species: 59 species

Canada Goose (2.)
Wood Duck (1.)
Mallard (2.)
Double-crested Cormorant (132.)
Great Egret (2.)
Green Heron (1.)
Black Vulture (1. Seen after end of “official” tour at hawk watch hill.)
Turkey Vulture (4.)
Osprey (2. Seen after end of “official” tour at hawk watch hill.)
Sharp-shinned Hawk (1. Seen after end of “official” tour at hawk watch hill.)
Bald Eagle (1. Seen after end of “official” tour at hawk watch hill.)
Red-tailed Hawk (3.)
Laughing Gull (8.)
Herring Gull (6.)
Rock Pigeon (3.)
Mourning Dove (5.)
Chimney Swift (1. Seen after end of “official” tour at hawk watch hill.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (3.)
Downy Woodpecker (3.)
Northern Flicker (2.)
American Kestrel (1. Seen after end of “official” tour at hawk watch hill.)
Monk Parakeet (5.)
Eastern Phoebe (2.)
White-eyed Vireo (1. Heard only near Crescent Water.)
Blue-headed Vireo (3.)
Blue Jay (7.)
American Crow (3.)
Fish Crow (1.)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow (2.)
Tree Swallow (1.)
Barn Swallow (5.)
Black-capped Chickadee (1.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (4.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1.)
House Wren (2.)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (5.)
Hermit Thrush (2.)
American Robin  24
Brown Thrasher (2. Seen after end of “official” tour at Ocean Hill.)
Northern Mockingbird (4.)
European Starling (7.)
Northern Waterthrush (1. Heard only at Sylvan Water.)
Blue-winged Warbler (1. Crescent Water.)
Northern Parula (1.)
Palm Warbler (3.)
Pine Warbler (8.)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Fairly abundant.)
Chipping Sparrow (31.)
Field Sparrow (1. Heard singing in the Flats near Vine Ave.)
White-throated Sparrow (5.)
Song Sparrow (4.)
Eastern Towhee (5.)
Northern Cardinal (8.)
Rusty Blackbird (1. Edge of Valley Water.)
Common Grackle (5.)
Brown-headed Cowbird (Common.)
House Finch (3.)
American Goldfinch (3.)
House Sparrow (8.)
...Read more

Treehugger Tuesday

From Popular Science online:

Of course, all our plastic crap ends up in the Arctic
It isn’t freaking Narnia
By Kendra Pierre-Louis April 21, 2017

The Arctic, in our popular imagination, is a frozen expanse teetering figuratively and literally on the edges of human culture. It remains primal and wild and unsullied by human contagions.

It's a nice idea, but one that doesn't match reality.

The Arctic, as a physical place, is directly connected to the same ecosystems that we humans are polluting closer to home. It’s foolish to think that harming one part of a connected ecosystem doesn’t harm the others, as a study released on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances makes clear. The study found that even in the remote Arctic we can’t escape the megatons of plastic waste humanity unleashes upon the world.

“Most of the surface ice-free waters in the Arctic Polar Circle were slightly polluted with plastic debris,” wrote the study’s authors in the paper, before going on to add, “…plastic debris was abundant and widespread in the Greenland and Barents seas.”

Plastic in the world’s oceans has been a growing concern since at least 1997 when Charles Moore stumbled across the Great Pacific Garbage patch as he crossed the Pacific after competing in the Transpacific Yacht Race. Today we know that there are at least six main garbage patches filled with plastic plaguing the seas. By some estimates as much as 300,000 tons of plastics are in the world’s oceans.

Some of the plastic that ends up there was blown off cargo ships, and others wind up in the ocean because of deliberate dumping. But most wind up there because of carelessness. Many plastic bits end up in the water because of less-than-careful handling of our garbage. Many more enter the oceans because as we deliberately designed plastic products, like microbeads, we never paused to wonder where a piece of plastic designed to be used while you shower ends up when it goes down the drain.

The researchers, a global crew hailing from 8 countries and 12 universities including the University of Cádiz in Spain, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and Harvard University, came to this conclusion by literally dragging nets across the arctic and looking to see how much plastic they picked up. They sampled a total of 42 sites across the Greenland, Barents, Kara, Lapteve, East Siberian, Chuckchi and Beaufort seas along with the Canadian Archipelago, Baffin Bay, and the Labrador Sea.

To make sure they were capturing as much as the plastic as possible, they used a stereo microscope to aid in their search, enabling them to catch pieces of plastic as small as 330 micrometers—about four times thicker than your typical strand of human hair. They then analyzed and classified them according to shape and probably point of origin.

Plastic in the ocean isn’t just unsightly. In fact, the plastic debris that we see is less of a problem than the plastic that is too small to see easily. That’s because plastic never biodegrades. It doesn’t revert back to its molecular elements the way other materials do.

Given enough time a leaf laying on the soil floor will be eaten by bugs and microbes to become soil that once again provides the tree with nourishment. Given enough time plastic will become a smaller piece of plastic. That’s it - this stuff never goes away. Eventually, after being buffeted about by sun and salt water, it becomes small enough that sea animals confuse it with morsels of food such as seaweed, or plankton. A 2015 study found that roughly 20 percent of small fish have plastic in their bellies. Researchers have also found that some northern fulmar’s, a sea bird that hangs out mostly in the subarctic, have elevated levels of ingested plastic. Plastic it seems, is not just an occasional snack, but a steady part of their diets. Tasty.
fulmar

Not only is plastic not food, but it is associated with a cocktail of potentially harmful chemicals. Some plastics are made of chemicals which cause cancers, or that disrupt hormonal systems associated with sexual reproduction and general wellbeing. Plastic in the oceans can also act as a magnet for other chemicals – dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)—which also cause cancer and interact with hormones that we also dump in the ocean. Biologists are still trying to figure out what this means in terms of the health and wellbeing of the fish, and the humans who eat these fish.

Not many people live in the Arctic, certainly not enough to account for the level of pollution they found. Researchers in this study were able to trace back the plastic, not surprisingly, to the North Atlantic—to the more heavily populated coasts of Northwest Europe, the United Kingdom and the east coast of the United States. Ocean currents—driven by changes in temperature and salinity—ordinarily send warmer waters up to the cold reaches of the Arctic. Now, they also pick up plastic hitchhikers along the way.

Given what we know about human activities and ocean currents, it’s not shocking that researchers found plastic in the Arctic. What is disconcerting is that after decades of research in the area people still think of the Arctic as pristine. We already know that Arctic whales have PCB’s, polar bears have long been contaminated by DDT, and even animals in the deepest parts of the oceans are being poisoned by toxic chemicals. What’s surprising is not that this is happening, but that this continues to happen and that we continue to be surprised.
...Read more

Monday, April 24, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, April 29, 2017 to Sunday, April 30, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect Park’s magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

**********

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 8:00am - 12:00pm
Discover Rye Nature Center with Naturalist Tait Johansson and Bronx River Sound Shore Audubon
Join Tait and BRSS’s Doug Bloom to look for warblers and other spring migrants on this bird walk at then gem of a nature center.
Meet at Rye Nature Center.
Cost: Free. Level of Difficulty: Easy.
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Hempstead Lake State Park, West Hempstead, NY
Leader: Steve Nanz
Focus: Peak of spring migrants and songbirds
Registrar: Heidi Steiner email heidi.steiner@verizon.net or call before 8pm 718- 369-2116
Registration Period: April 22nd–April 27th
Site profile: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/31/details.aspx
April Bird list http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L143222?m=4&yr=all&changeDate=Set

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Every Sunday Weekly from 03/12/2017 to 05/28/2017
Birding for Beginners
Join us for an introductory nature walk where you will learn the essentials of birdwatching.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 8:00am
Valley Stream SP and Jones Beach West End
Leader(s): John Gluth (631-827-0120), Steve D’Amato (631-264-8413)
Southern State Parkway to exit 15S, North Corona Ave. No Corona Ave to Hendrickson Ave (.07 mi) turn right at Hendrickson Ave. Hendrickson Ave. to Fletcher Ave (.3 mi) turn right on Fletcher Ave. Fletcher Ave North to Valley Stream State Park entrance on right (.2 mi). Park at far end of lot.
(Nature walks will be cancelled if it is raining or snowing.)

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, April 30, 2017
"Birding in Peace": Birds of Early-Spring Migration
Our April tours will be a feast for the ears and eyes with the trilling song of Pine Warblers and drumming pronouncements of Woodpeckers on newly blossoming trees (including magnolias, maples, quinces, and dogwoods). We’ll discover thousands of songbirds resting before their trip north as well as arriving herons and egrets at Green-Wood’s glacial ponds.

Before our gates open to the general public, birding expert Rob Jett leads these peaceful Sunday morning walking tours to discover the many birds that call Green-Wood home. Copies of our new Bird Checklist will be available to all tour participants. Comfortable footwear is recommended.

**********

Highland Park Community Advocates
Sunday, April 30th, 2pm - 4pm
Spring “Sanctuary” Walking Tour
Shed Your Stress in Highland Park and Ridgewood Reservoir. Join us as we walk, sit, and reflect along the forest bluestone overlook, the newly-renovated and landscaped Boulder Arch Bridge and the paths of the Ridgewood Reservoir.
• Experience the beautiful Spring flowers and foliage
• View the restoration of the Boulder Bridge • Meditate in extraordinary park settings
• Relax and let go of stress...
Meet at Highland Boulevard and Bulwer Place
This Free Tour is Led by HPCA’s Founder Charles Monaco
For further information contact: imagepark@aol.com

**********

Huntington-Oyster Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 8:00am
Members Only! Shu Swamp Exploration
This trip will be led by an outstanding naturalist and while we will focus on the plant life of the preserve (spring ephemeral wildflowers should be in bloom!) we will be keeping an eye out for birds.
Registration a MUST, this trip is open to HOBAS Members Only and Group Size Limited to 15: 516-695-0763.
Directions: From Route 25A in East Norwich, take Route 106 north to Oyster Bay. Make left on to Lexington Ave then left on to West Main Street. At the Mill Pond (on the left), bear to the right as if to go to Bayville. At first traffic light (water will be on your right) make a left onto Cleft Road. Take Cleft Road to Frost Mill Road, make a left. (If you wind up on the causeway going over Beaver Dam, you have gone too far.) Shu Swamp will be on your right after you go under the train trestle. Do NOT use your GPS. You will end up in the wrong place.

Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 9:00am
Green-Wood Cemetery Ramble
Beautiful scenery, famous monuments, and some of the best bird watching in the city. The must-see birds are the Monk Parakeets.
Registration: 631-885-1881 or aveblue@gmail.com
Directions: LIE westbound to 48th St exit to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway south to the Hamilton Avenue exit. Continue on Hamilton Avenue until it becomes Third Ave. Continue on about 8 blocks to 25th St. Turn left at 25th St. and go two blocks. Cemetery entrance is straight ahead at Fifth Ave and 25th St.

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Linnaean Society of New York
Sunday, April 30, 2017
New Jersey Hotspots
Leader: Robert Machover
Registrar: Anne Lazarus — amlazarus47@gmail.com or 212-673-9059
Registration opens: Monday, April 17
Ride: $40

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New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 9/3/2016 - 6/24/2017: 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturdays April 29, May 13, and June 3, and Sundays, May 7 and May 21, 9:30-10:30am
Queens Botanical Garden Bird Walks
Guide: NYC Audubon with Queens Botanical Garden
We are happy to announce a new series of spring migration bird walks in partnership with Queens Botanical Garden. Register for one date or the whole series of five free walks (walk-ins welcome!). Explore the Garden in search of migrant songbirds and learn about the valuable resources that the Garden offers birds and other wildlife. Binoculars available. Limited to 25. Appropriate for all ages. To register, email info@queensbotanical.org or visit www.queensbotanical.org/calendar. Free with Garden admission

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 2pm – 5pm
Afternoon Spring Walk at Inwood Hill Park
Guide: Nadir Souirgi
Meet at Muscota Marsh, just inside the Park entrance at Indian Road and 218th Street. Inwood Hill Park, simply put, is a jewel. Nestled between The Hudson River, Dyckman Street and Seaman Avenue, this last tract of largely undeveloped oak and tulip forest transports you to another world and another time. Glacial "pot holes", towering trees, and stunning river views create an unrivaled backdrop by which to observe the many migratory and breeding avian species that are drawn to this hotspot. Rose-breasted grosbeak, wood thrush, and yellow warbler breed here, and the Park includes one of only two of Manhattan's last remaining tidal salt marsh! Limited to 15. $36 (25)
Click here to register

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 3:00pm – 4:30pm
KIDS Member Walk in Central Park
JOIN US FOR A KIDS MEMBER WALK IN CENTRAL PARK
Guides: Kellye Rosenheim and Nancy Ward
Meet at Central Park West and 72nd Street and explore Central Park’s best birding hotspots with Nancy Ward and Kellye Rosenheim. Walk is only for pre-registered KIDS Members ages 8-12 years old. All KIDS Members must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please let us know if you need a pair of binoculars. To register, parents should email KIDS@nycaudubon.org.

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:30am – 12:00pm
Walk: Muttontown Preserve
Leader: Rich 516-509-1094
See "Walk locations" for directions. 34 Muttontown Lane, East Norwich, NY 11732
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water.

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Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Cape May
Leader: Arie Gilbert (917) 693-7178
Please contact leaders at least 2 days before trip to let them know you are attending

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Forest Park
Leader: Jean Loscalzo (917) 575-6824
**7:30am Start**
Where: Park Lane South and Mayfair Rd., Queens, NY 11418

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South Shore Audubon Society
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Jones Beach West End #2

All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498
For directions to our bird-watching locations, click here

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Sullivan County Audubon Society
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 8:00am
Birding for Beginners with naturalist Scott Graber
Experience the variety of bird life that inhabits the Bashakill. Binoculars are required and wear sturdy walking shoes. We’ll meet at the Haven Road DEC parking lot near Rt. 209.
Call Scott to register and/or for additional information at 914-799-1313. This is a field trip of the Bashakill Area Association.

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Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Bird-Watching Walk at Forest Park Visitor Center (in Forest Park), Queens
8:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Start your day with an early morning bird watching walk led by Jean Loscalzo of the Queens County Bird Club. Binoculars recommended.
Free!

Fort Tryon Kids Workshop: Birds of Cabrini Woods at Cabrini Woods (in Fort Tryon Park), Manhattan
9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
We will enjoy a unique tree canopy-level view of the woods and learn fun facts about migrating birds through art, acting, and other hands-on activities.
Free!

Bird Walks with New York City Audubon at Queens Botanical Garden, Queens
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Spot and identify creatures of flight and learn how Queens Botanical Garden provides important resources for birds—like water, shelter, and insects to eat.
Free!

Sunday, April 30, 2017
Birds of High Rock Park at Parking Area (in High Rock Park), Staten Island
9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Join Seth Wollney for a walk around High Rock Park in search of spring migrants including warblers, thrushes, vireos, and more!
Free!

Birding: Ospreys at Fort Totten Front Gate (in Fort Totten Park), Queens
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

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Wild Bird Fund
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 9:00am - 11:00am
A Walk On The Wild Side – April Edition
Spring is here – time to get outside and see who’s around!
Join Alan Messer for a spring migration bird walk in Central Park on this weekend of the Peoples Climate March. Alan will answer you questions regarding climate change, the impact on our local wildlife, and the city. Alan will offer reports from here and around the country, and we will consider our role in addressing this global issue.

We’ll be meeting at the Wild Bird Fund (565 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024) at 9:00am SHARP on April 29th (Rain Date is April 30th).
The walk is $15; for members of WBF, it is $10.
(Interested in becoming a member? It’s only $10 a month! Click here for more info!)
RSVP required: events@wildbirdfund.org
...Read more

Saturday, April 22, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 21, 2017

- RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 21, 2017
* NYNY1704.21

- Birds mentioned
RUFF+
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER+
(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

CATTLE EGRET
Green Heron
Rough-legged Hawk
SANDHILL CRANE
Razorbill
Iceland Gull
Glaucous Gull
Caspian Tern
Common Tern
Black Skimmer
Red-headed Woodpecker
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Ovenbird
Worm-eating Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
KENTUCKY WARBLER
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Lincoln's Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
BLUE GROSBEAK
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

- Transcript

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44(at)nybirds{dot}org.

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

To report sightings call:
Tom Burke (212) 372-1483 (weekdays, during the day)
Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126 (Long Island)

Compiler: Tom Burke, Tony Lauro
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Ben Cacace

BEGIN TAPE

Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, April 21st 2017 at 7pm. The highlights of today's tape are SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, RUFF, SANDHILL CRANE, YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER, PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, KENTUCKY WARBLER, BLUE GROSBEAK, CATTLE EGRET and Spring migrants.

Certainly spectacular was an adult SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER found midday last Sunday at Drier-Offerman Park in Brooklyn. This nicely plumaged individual moving around the fence line there before disappearing in the late afternoon not to be seen again.

Also exceptional was a breeding plumaged RUFF spotted Thursday morning in the marsh around the East Marina at Timber Point. Sporting a black ruff this individual was not relocated after flying northward that afternoon but then reappeared at the same location this morning.

Also notable was the SANDHILL CRANE still at Wainscott Pond today as viewed from Wainscott Main Street.

Among the more unusual Spring warblers a PROTHONOTARY found back on the 12th was at the Marine Park Salt Marsh Nature Center at least to Saturday and a second also found Saturday was still present today at the Lido Beach Passive Nature Area located on the north side of Lido Boulevard west of the loop causeway. This preserve also produced an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER last weekend and another ORANGE-CROWNED was seen around the Ramble in Central Park up to Thursday. The YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was spotted Sunday morning at Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and a KENTUCKY WARBLER was reported on the Bronx Zoo property Tuesday. Other arriving warblers this week included OVENBIRD and WORM-EATING from Saturday, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH Monday and BLUE-WINGED, NASHVILLE, YELLOW and COMMON YELLOWTHROAT Thursday.

Other passerines appearing locally this week featured EASTERN KINGBIRD Tuesday, YELLOW-THROATED VIREO Saturday, ORCHARD ORIOLE Tuesday and BALTIMORE ORIOLE Wednesday, LINCOLN'S SPARROW Tuesday, SCARLET TANAGER Monday and ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK Thursday. A BLUE GROSBEAK was seen again Monday and Wednesday at Jones Beach West End.

A CATTLE EGRET from last week was still present today in lower Manhattan in grassy areas on the north side of 28th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. A second CATTLE EGRET appeared at the Mecox dairy in Bridgehampton last Saturday and was still in that area today in the pastures along Mecox Road and Halsey Lane.

Single CASPIAN TERNS this week were seen at Croton Point Monday, Mecox Bay Thursday and today at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn where 2 BLACK SKIMMERS appeared Monday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL was at Brighton Beach Brooklyn Sunday and ICELAND GULLS in Brooklyn featured one around the Hudson Piers Monday and Thursday and one at Plumb Beach Sunday.

Other arrivals include a GREEN HERON last Saturday and COMMON TERN out east on Long Island Tuesday. Late was a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK noted along the loop causeway last Saturday. RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS this week included one continuing in Central Park just west of East 68th Street, one at Sunken Meadow State Park to Wednesday and 2 at Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island.

A boat trip last Saturday to the continental shelf south of Shinnecock counted about 66 RAZORBILLS.

To phone in reports weekdays call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday's Foto

Unique among North America’s wood-warblers, the Black-and-white Warbler feeds by creeping along limbs and on tree trunks. In fact, one of its old names was “Black-and-white Creeper”. One of our early arriving warblers, they use their thin, slightly down-curved bill to probe bark for mostly moth and butterfly larvae. A sure sign of spring is hearing their high-pitched, squeaky “weesy-weesy-weesy-weesy” song.

Their wintering grounds includes the extreme southern United States to the Peruvian Andes. It is among the earliest species to reach the U.S. Gulf coast in spring. The Black-and-white Warbler breeds from southern Mackenzie, northern Alberta, and central Manitoba east to Newfoundland, and south to southern United States east of Rockies. According to the Boreal Songbird Initiative, an estimated 52% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

The Black-and-white Warbler’s conservation status via the IUCN red list is "Least Concern" due to its extremely large range and abundant population size.

It’s scientific name, Mniotilta varia, means: moss plucker; diverse.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Migration Ramping up at Green-Wood Cemetery

We had another great dawn walk at Green-Wood Cemetery this past Sunday with a moderate increase in migrant species, including one unexpected surprise.

I decided to take a slightly different route to start the walk. We were only a few minutes into the tour when I stopped to scan a large pine tree to try and locate a singing Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Their twittering song is nearly as cute as this diminutive bird's appearance. Anyway, after a moment, Linda Morry pointed to something moving midway up the tree. When I point my bins on it I was surprised to see it was a Yellow-throated Warbler! This mostly southern wood-warbler is a rare but regular visitor to NYC and was my first for Green-Wood Cemetery. He was pretty cooperative as he foraged for insects among the pine's needles, allowing nice views for everyone in the group.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are starting their annual "invasion" with several dozen seen throughout the morning. Their distinctive "pip" call note was also heard nearly everywhere. Within the next couple of weeks this species will become ubiquitous as thousands stop off here to fill up and rest before continuing their northward journey. Palm Warbler numbers have also increased. At the Crescent water I counted a group of 5 Pine Warblers.

Another new arrival on Sunday was a Yellow Warbler. We were walking along the edge of the Valley Water a few minutes after basking in the glow of the Yellow-throated Warbler when I heard a familiar song. The bold, rapidly increasing melody of the Yellow Warbler is often described as saying, "sweet, sweet, sweet, a little more sweet!" It only took a moment to find this vibrant little songbird perched out in the open high up in a deciduous tree. Most of the trees have yet to leaf out, so finding all these colorful birds is still pretty easy.

Seemingly overnight Chipping Sparrows have descended on the cemetery. On Saturday I spotted only 3 of these slender, rusty-capped sparrows. By Sunday morning there were small flocks of them scattered through Green-Wood feeding on grass seeds. "Chippies" pass through Brooklyn in large numbers, but some also remain in the cemetery, nesting within the healthy evergreen stands. They are pretty easy to see in Green-Wood during the summer as they raise their offspring. Also seen in much smaller numbers among these flocks were Field Sparrows. Field Sparrows, like the Chippings, are members of the genus spizella. Meaning "small finch", these sparrows are New World sparrows mainly characterized as being fairly small and slim, with short bills, round heads and long wings. They don't nest here, but if you're interested in finding some breeding locally, Floyd Bennett Field is your best bet.

Near the Dell Water we had a brief encounter with one of Brooklyn's Common Ravens. This huge bird's deep, croaking call caught my attention and I whipped around to see one perch low in a tree above Orchard Avenue. Unfazed by our presence, he or she flew down to the ground for a second, then took off flying towards the train yard. Extirpated from New York City for a couple of hundred years, this highly intelligent corvid has started making a comeback, nesting in Queens, Manhattan and now somewhere to be discovered in Brooklyn. So, if you see a large, dark raptor circling that turns out to be "just a crow", it's probably a raven.

Finally, one other new arrival on Sunday was Blue-headed Vireo. When slowly making our way around the Crescent Water, I heard a slow, burry, up and down, "See you, be-seeing ya, so long". Unlike their more hyperactive cousins the warblers, vireos tend to move more slowly and methodically. This allowed the whole group to get good looks at him as he foraged in a Red maple at the edge of the pond. A short while later I heard another one singing from somewhere up the rise near Samuel F. B. Morse.

We have another early morning tour coming up this Sunday. I can't wait to see what new birds come in this time!

**********

Location: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Date: Sunday, April 16, 2017
Species: 45 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose
American Black Duck (3.)
Mallard
Double-crested Cormorant (35, flock flying over in V formation over cemetery.)
Great Egret (1.)
Laughing Gull
Herring Gull
Sterna sp. (3.)
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher (1.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Monk Parakeet
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo (2.)
Blue Jay
Common Raven (1. First hear making nasal "cronk" call, then seen very close near Dell Water.)
Barn Swallow (1.)
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2.)
White-breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Yellow Warbler (1.)
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler (9.)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-throated Warbler (1.)
Chipping Sparrow  (Approx. 30-40.)
Field Sparrow (5.)
Dark-eyed Junco (1.)
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
...Read more

Treehugger Tuesday

From Ars Techica online:

The world spent less money to add more renewable energy than ever in 2016
$241.6 billion in investment gets you 138.5 gigawatts of renewable energy
Megan Geuss - 4/10/2017, 6:54 PM

A new study tracking global investment in renewable energy found that investors spent less money in 2016 to add more renewable energy capacity than in any previous year. In total, investors only spent about $241.6 billion in renewable energy investments in 2016, down 23 percent from 2015.

But they got a lot of bang for their buck. According to the collaborative report from the UN, the Frankfurt School, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, investments in “wind, solar, biomass, and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro, and marine sources [like wave and tidal energy]” resulted in the addition of 138.5 GW of energy capacity in 2016. That represents a nine percent increase year-over-year from the 127.5 gigawatts added in 2015.

The difference in trends—falling investment but rising capacity—reflects the plummeting prices of certain kinds of renewable energy, especially solar photovoltaic panels and wind installations. In effect, investors are spending less and getting more capacity. And that’s a good thing for reducing pollution that contributes to climate change. According to the report, the proportion of global energy derived from renewable sources rose from 10.3 percent to 11.3 percent year-over-year.

While a one-percent increase may seem small, the report estimates (PDF) that renewable power “prevented the emission of an estimated 1.7 gigatonnes of CO2 in 2016.” (But don’t get too comfortable yet. The report also notes that “CO2 levels in the atmosphere in January 2017 were up 3.6 parts per million from a year earlier, at 406.1ppm.” Even as global carbon emissions appear to level off, we're still accumulating CO2 in the atmosphere.)

Still, capacity from renewable projects represented 55 percent of total new energy capacity in 2016, which is the highest ever recorded in the 11-year history of the annual collaborative report. Investors spent about twice as much on renewable energy as they did on fossil fuel-related energy, the researchers wrote.

The report didn’t track investment in hydroelectric projects greater than 50MW, and neither did it track energy storage or smart grid investments.



The researchers also note that not all of the drop in investment could be attributed to falling costs on renewable energy projects. “There was a marked slowdown in financings in China, Japan, and some emerging markets during the course of the year,” the report notes. Developing countries saw a lag in investment, as did China and the US. Europe, however, increased its renewable investment by three percent in 2016, with a 53 percent increase in offshore wind investment from 2015.

In a press release, Michael Liebreich, the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said “The question always used to be ‘will renewables ever be grid competitive?’ Well, after the dramatic cost reductions of the past few years, unsubsidized wind and solar can provide the lowest cost new electrical power in an increasing number of countries, even in the developing world—sometimes by a factor of two.”

“It’s a whole new world,” he continued. “Even though investment is down, annual installations are still up; instead of having to subsidize renewables, now authorities may have to subsidize natural gas plants to help them provide grid reliability.”

**********

So much for bringing coal jobs back...
...Read more

Monday, April 17, 2017

Upcoming Birding and Nature Trips

Below is a list of upcoming nature trips by local birding/conservation groups for Saturday, April 22, 2017 to Sunday, April 23, 2017:

Audubon Center in Prospect Park
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 12pm – 1pm
Introduction to Bird Watching
Join Prospect Park Alliance for a birdwatching walk and learn about Prospect Park’s magnificent array of birds and how to identify them!

**********

Bedford Audubon Society
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8am – 11am
John Jay Homestead in Katonah
Join Tait at the John Jay Homestead to look for spring migrating birds.
Meet at the main parking lot.
Cost: Free.
Level of Difficulty: Easy-Moderate.
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 8am – 1pm
Garret Mountain Park with Naturalist Tait Johansson
This truly excellent “migrant trap” provides sweeping views of northern New Jersey and the NYC skyline. Tait will lead the group on trails around a beautiful pond for migrating songbirds, especially warblers.
Depart Bylane Farm at 6:45am.
Cost: Free.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate.
Bring a lunch.
Please register with Susan at info@bedfordaudubon.org or 914.302.9713.

**********

Brooklyn Bird Club
Sunday, April 23, 2017
“Bobbi's patch of woods”: Shore Road Park, Bay Ridge
Leader: Bobbi Manian
Directions: Take R train to last stop 95th Street; walk south on 4th Ave to 101st Street, to John Paul Jones Park, on the left side of street (In the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge).
Meet by the Dover Patrol Monument. Leader will bird this small vest-pocket park under the Verrazano Bridge, then continue along Shore Road Park. Depending on activity we will conclude around 86th or 77th Streets, where it is about a 10 minute walk back to 4th Ave to pick up the R train""
Focus: Peak of early spring migrants and songbirds
Meet 8:30 am at the Dover Patrol Statue in John Paul Jones Park https://goo.gl/maps/tgk9g885fFu

**********

Feminist Bird Club
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Alley Pond Park

**********

Gateway National Recreation Area
Every Sunday Weekly from 03/12/2017 to 05/28/2017
Birding for Beginners
Join us for an introductory nature walk where you will learn the essentials of birdwatching.
Location: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Fee Information: Free

**********

Great South Bay Audubon Society
Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 8:30am
Connetquot River SPP
Leader(s): Bob Grover (516-318-8536), Ken Thompson (631-612-8028), John Gluth (631-827-0120)
Meet in parking field. Entrance is on the westbound side of Sunrise Highway (Rte. 27) west of Pond Road. If coming from west to east, Take exit 47A and go to the next overpass, Oakdale Bohemia Rd. to cross over bridge, then head westbound and stay in right lane to entrance.

**********

Green-Wood Cemetery
Sunday, April 23, 2017
"Birding in Peace": Birds of Early-Spring Migration
Our April tours will be a feast for the ears and eyes with the trilling song of Pine Warblers and drumming pronouncements of Woodpeckers on newly blossoming trees (including magnolias, maples, quinces, and dogwoods). We’ll discover thousands of songbirds resting before their trip north as well as arriving herons and egrets at Green-Wood’s glacial ponds.

**********

Littoral Society
Sunday, April 23, 2017, 10:00am - 12:30pm
A Springtime Hike at Breezy Point, NY
Meet at Bldg 1, Fort Tilden, and carpool to Breezy Point in a caravan led by Mickey Maxwell Cohen to the little known western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula. Highlights will include seashells and other stranded critters, dune foliage, shore birds and a surprising variety of rocks and minerals used in the construction of the Breezy Point Jetty. Binoculars and a magnifying glass will be helpful. This is an American Littoral Society/GNRA Partnership Program.
Directions:
Subway and bus: Take #2 or #5 train to Flatbush Ave/Brooklyn College and then the Q35 bus past Floyd Bennett Field and just over the Marine Pkwy (Gil Hodges Memorial) Bridge. Ask the driver to let you off at Fort Tilden. By car: From Exit 11s on the Belt Pkwy, head south and over the bridge. Stay right and take the right ramp toward Breezy Point. Make a quick left into the fort at the first light. Go to end and park by Bldg 1 or at the nearby Post Chapel.

**********

New York Botanical Garden (Bronx)
Saturdays -- 9/3/2016 - 6/24/2017: 11:00 a.m.
Debbie Becker leads a free bird walk at the Garden every Saturday from 11am to 12:30pm beginning at the Reflecting Pool in the Leon Levy Visitor Center

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New York City Audubon Society
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10am – 1pm
Birds and Plants: New York Botanical Garden in Springtime
Guides: Gabriel Willow
Meet by the ticket booth just inside the Garden’s Mosholu Gate on Southern Boulevard. The New York Botanical Garden is home to a large tract of East Coast old-growth forest. During the peak of spring migration, the beautiful gardens come alive with migrating songbirds. Limited to 15. Entrance fee to NYBG not included. $39 (27)
Click here to register

Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1pm – 3pm
Kingsland Wildflowers Earth Day Lecture and Roof Tour
"'My Yard is 'For the Birds' - The Things Birds Look for in Urban and Suburban Yards, and Why They Need to Be There"
Joyann Cirigliano, President and Atlantic Flyway Projects Coordinator of the Four Harbors Audubon Society, will discuss the importance of backyard gardens as safe spaces for birds, and the ways in which utilizing native plants in landscape design will attract these feathered friends.

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 7:30am – 1:30pm
Birding Gems of Queens: Evergreens Cemetery and the Ridgewood Reservoirs
Guide: Kellye Rosenheim
Explore the delights of historic Evergreen Cemetery and its spring migrants. The trip continues with a long stop at Ridgewood Reservoir, where we will search the treetops and basin for more birds. Moderately strenuous with a great deal of hills and stairs. Bring lunch. Transport by passenger van included. Limited to 12. $96 (67)
Click here to register

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 8:00am – 10:30am
The Birds of Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx
Guides: Tod Winston, Joseph McManus, Friends of Woodlawn Docent with The Friends of Woodlawn
Meet at the Jerome Avenue Entrance of Woodlawn Cemetery. Join us for a morning bird walk and tour of beautiful Woodlawn Cemetery: Tod Winston and Joseph McManus will look for spring migrants and year-round residents on the expansive, wooded cemetery grounds, while a Friends of Woodlawn docent will share fascinating stories about Woodlawn’s history and the interesting mixture of individuals interred there. Limited to 15. $35 (24)
Click here to register

Sunday, April 23, 2017, 9:30am – 3:00pm
Birding Gems of Staten Island: Spring Hike in the Greenbelt
Guide: Gabriel Willow with NYC Parks and the Greenbelt Conservancy
Meet at the Manhattan terminal of the Staten Island Ferry and begin your tour on water as we cross the Upper Bay. Explore trails within the 3,000-acre Staten Island Greenbelt and visit High Rock Park, Walker Pond, and the Pouch Camp property: 143 acres of unspoiled woods and wetlands. Look for spring migrants and learn about the Greenbelt’s ecology. Trip involves approximately 3.5 miles of hiking. Transportation on Staten Island included. Limited to 19. $43 (30)
Click here to register

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North Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8am – 12pm
Hempstead Lake SP
Leader: Stacy and Kurt Meyerheinrich 516-426-6281
Note: New York State Park parking fee may apply if you do not have an Empire Pass. Last year, fee collection started at 8am, so get there early.
See "Walk locations" for directions.
Wear water-resistant footwear, bring binoculars and drinking water.

**********

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods (Staten Island)
Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Earth Day at High Rock
Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of this amazing woodland in spring. Throughout this portion of The Greenbelt a gorgeous palate of wildflowers and the colorful fanfare of migrating spring birds will highlight an afternoon of forest bathing.
Participants will meet in the Nevada Avenue Parking Lot

**********

Queens County Bird Club
Saturday, Apr 22, 2017
Hempstead Lake
Leader: Steve Schellenger

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South Shore Audubon Society
Saturday, April 23, 2017
Hempstead Lake State Park

All walks start at 9:00 A.M.
There is no walk if it rains or snows or temperature is below 25°F.
For more information or in case of questionable weather conditions, please phone Joe at 516 467-9498
For directions to our bird-watching locations, click here

**********

Urban Park Rangers
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Birding: Raptor Nests at East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Our Urban Park Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the urban jungle.
Free!

Discovery Walks for Families: Beginning Birders at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (in Central Park), Manhattan
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Bring your family for a guided walk and discover why Central Park is a sanctuary for plants, animals, and humans alike.
Free!
...Read more

Saturday, April 15, 2017

New York City Rare Bird Alert

Below is the New York City Rare Bird Alert for the week ending Friday, April 14, 2017:

-RBA
* New York
* New York City, Long Island, Westchester County
* Apr. 14, 2017
* NYNY1704.14

- Birds Mentioned

TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE+

(+ Details requested by NYSARC)

Trumpeter Swan
Eurasian Wigeon
KING EIDER
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Common Gallinule
SANDHILL CRANE
Solitary Sandpiper
WHIMBREL
Short-billed Dowitcher
BLACK-HEADED GULL
Iceland Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Glaucous Gull
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Forster’s Tern
Royal Tern
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
House Wren
Black-and-white Warbler
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER
Northern Parula
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
SUMMER TANAGER
BLUE GROSBEAK
Indigo Bunting
DICKCISSEL
House Sparrow

If followed by (+) please submit documentation of your report electronically and use the NYSARC online submission form found at http://www.nybirds.org/NYSARC/goodreport.htm

You can also send reports and digital image files via email to nysarc44nybirdsorg

If electronic submission is not possible, hardcopy reports and photos or sketches are welcome. Hardcopy documentation should be mailed to:

Gary Chapin - Secretary
NYS Avian Records Committee (NYSARC)
125 Pine Springs Drive
Ticonderoga, NY 12883

Hotline: New York City Area Rare Bird Alert
Number: (212) 979-3070

Compiler: Tom Burke
Coverage: New York City, Long Island, Westchester County

Transcriber: Gail Benson

[~BEGIN RBA TAPE~]

Greetings! This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, April 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm.

The highlights of today’s tape are TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE, SANDHILL CRANE, BLACK-HEADED GULL, KING EIDER, WHIMBREL, YELLOW-THROATED and PROTHONOTARY WARBLERS, YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT, DICKCISSEL, SUMMER TANAGER, BLUE GROSBEAK and other spring migrants.

To review some lingering rarities first, the TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE was last reported Saturday near blue house #1625 North Sea Drive in Southold, and the Wainscott Pond SANDHILL CRANE was noted as recently as Tuesday. A female KING EIDER was present again off Orient Point Sunday, and the BLACK-HEADED GULL was still at Sagg Pond on Tuesday.

But it’s the early spring arrivals that now attract most of the attention. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER visited Prospect Park last weekend, followed by 1 in Central Park’s Ramble on Wednesday. Unusual by location was a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER staying near the Salt Marsh Nature Center building in Brooklyn’s Marine Park Wednesday to today, and a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT worked its way around the parking lot at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge last Saturday.

Other Warblers first appearing this week have included NORTHERN PARULA last Friday, BLACK-AND-WHITE Monday, BLACK-THROATED GREEN and PRAIRIE Wednesday and WILSON’S today.

A DICKCISSEL has been visiting residential Massapequa, staying with HOUSE SPARROWS around a yard at the corner of Fox Boulevard and Baldwin Road, often in bushes next to a sideways lying basketball hoop. If visiting there, please respect the neighbors and act appropriately.

Various TERNS have begun arriving, and notable was a GULL-BILLED on the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Wednesday. A CASPIAN TERN was reported at Orient Point Saturday and is expected now, but more unusual were a few early ROYAL TERNS, with photos of 1 at Sagg Pond in Bridgehampton Sunday and 2 more at Mecox Bay Tuesday. Both FORSTER’S and LEAST TERNS were also reported as of Wednesday.

A WHIMBREL was still around Sagg Pond Saturday, and one was found at Timber Point in Great River around the East Marina Monday and was still there Wednesday.

A GLAUCOUS GULL visited Central Park Reservoir Monday and Tuesday, ICELAND GULLS were noted in Brooklyn at various sites during the week and also at Oak Beach Saturday, and a few LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS are still around.

A CATTLE EGRET in lower Manhattan has been lingering since Tuesday and apparently earlier at least through today in a small grassy area along the north side of 28th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. Other HERONS have featured the arrival of GREEN HERON Saturday as well as a TRICOLORED HERON at Marshlands Conservancy in Rye yesterday and today.

A EURASIAN WIGEON was at the Brooklyn Army Terminal Pier 4 Monday.

Continuing RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noted at Central Park, Kissena Park, Hendrickson Park and Caumsett State Park as well as a couple of other locations.

Among the passerines, a belated report mentions a female SUMMER TANAGER photographed last Friday in Suffolk County on private property at King’s Park, and a male BLUE GROSBEAK arrived at Jones Beach West End east of the toll booth today.

An EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL was found injured at 38th Street and 6th Avenue last Friday, and a list of other recent arrivals includes SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER Thursday, SOLITARY SANDPIPER Sunday, CHIMNEY SWIFT Saturday, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD Tuesday, WHITE-EYED VIREO Saturday and BLUE-HEADED VIREO Monday, BANK and CLIFF SWALLOWS Saturday, HOUSE WREN Tuesday and INDIGO BUNTING Saturday.

North of us a TRUMPETER SWAN has been near the main boat ramp since Wednesday at Bashakill, in Sullivan County, where COMMON GALLINULE is also back.

To phone in reports call Tom Burke weekdays at 212-372-1483.

This service is sponsored by the Linnaean Society of New York and the National Audubon Society. Thank you for calling.

- End transcript
...Read more

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday's Foto

A medium-sized, mottled brown and buffy colored eared owl, the Short-eared Owl is one of the world's most widely distributed. Found through the Old World, Iceland, the Hawaiian Islands, North and South America, this individual was photographed in Brooklyn, NY. Found primarily in open terrain, their preferred habitat is shrub-steppe, grasslands, agricultural areas, marshes, wet meadows, and shorelines. While they are mostly nocturnal, they are easily observed hunting at dawn and dusk. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, but they will occasionally eat birds.

Due primarily to their wide distribution, the IUCN lists their conservation status as “Least Concern”. However, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation lists them as “Endangered” in the state. This is likely due to reforestation along with the loss of grasslands and other open habitats.

The best place to look for this owl in Brooklyn during the winter and early-spring is Floyd Bennett Field or Marine Park.

Their scientific name, Asio flammeus, means owl and fiery, flaming or flame-colored.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Birding in Peace" again

This past Sunday I led another dawn walk in historic Green-Wood Cemetery. North winds and colder than expected temperatures didn't deter the 20 folks that had signed up and there were a few new migrants passing through that also didn't seem to mind.

After the guard re-locked the main gate behind us, we quietly walked up the long hill towards the start of my planned loop through the cemetery. It was the third of our sunrise walks and I'm still in awe of this oasis of tranquility smack in the center of Brooklyn. Outside of the security guard, we were the only people behind the wrought-iron fence protecting this 478-acre sanctuary. The only noise at the beginning of the tour was of singing robins, cardinals and White-throated Sparrows. At the edge of the Valley Water we heard the soft "chip" of a phoebe, then spotted one hawking for insects from various low perches in the small cherry trees that surround the pond.

Valley Water would be our first stop as this is usually where I find the first migrating Palm Warblers of the season. It only took a moment before we spotted one of these yellow, tail-pumping songbirds foraging in the grass beneath the cherry trees. There were also a smattering of Dark-eyed Juncos in the vicinity, twittering and flashing their white tail feathers as they escaped our group's slow approach.

From Valley Water I led the group up the gradual incline of Central Ridge. More sparrows flushed ahead of us and into the safety of yew and other shrubs. One of my favorite winter visitors is the Fox Sparrow. This robust reddish-brown, gray and white songbird serenaded us from a high perch along the ridge. We would see and hear several others during the course of our morning walk.

At the grass strip at the back of the Sylvan Water were several Palm Warblers and a single Pine Warbler. A third early wood-warbler I was hoping to encounter on Sunday was Louisiana Waterthrush. It wasn't until we made our way to the Dell Water that we managed to find one. A single individual was slowly bobbing along the top of the pond's coping wall, occasionally dropping down into a section of exposed muddy bottom. It even obligingly graced us with his complex, alternating slurred and jumbled song.

A quick stop along the "Flats" revealed that the resident Red-tailed Hawks had returned to last year's nest tree. As the smallish male carried a large branch into the nest we spotted his mate flying passed towards the opposite end of Cypress Avenue. With some luck, by July we'll see their offspring taking their maiden flight.

Finally, as we wrapped up the tour and headed back towards the main entrance, we spotted one more newly arrived migrant. Under a conifer at the edge of Chestnut Hill was a Hermit Thrush. Wrapped in browns, rusty read and white, this relative of our robin is somewhat less obvious than the latter. What he lacks in flash, however, he more than makes up for with his vocalization. His clear, whistled tremolo notes are often described as "haunting". While he didn't sing for us on Sunday, perhaps within the next couple of tours we'll be fortunate enough to hear it.

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Locations: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York
Date: April 9, 2017, 6:30am - 9:30am
Species: 38

Canada Goose
Mallard
Red-tailed HawkHerring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher (1.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel (2.)
Monk Parakeet
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (4.)
Brown Creeper (2.)
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush (1.)
American Robin
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Louisiana Waterthrush (1.)
Palm Warbler (5.)
Pine Warbler (1.)
Fox Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
House Sparrow
...Read more

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